Jim's Reviews > The Book of Madness and Cures

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny
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's review
Apr 19, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, historical-fiction
Read from April 12 to 19, 2012

O’Melveny tells the story of Gabriela Mondini, a woman who learned medical skills from her father in 16th Century Venice. It was unusual for a woman to be a doctor at this time in history and this often caused Gabriela to have to overcome the prejudice of those around her. The adventure begins when her mentor/father disappears and she sets out to find him, traveling across Europe with two trusted household servants. While I enjoyed reading the historical aspects of the book and some of the lore, I found the preponderance of medical folklore a bit overwhelming. I also feel the author tied it all up a little too neatly at the end and her conclusions were predictable, but must say that there were many wonderful descriptive passages. Overall though, I would have preferred more mystery.

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